Monthly Archives: February 2017

30hrs Free childcare – not as clear cut as it seems!

Charlotte Lucas, Founder and Co-owner of Welton Free Rangers talks to us about the governments new plans for childcare. Its an interesting read and especially important for parents looking for childcare.

“From September 2017 the Government’s promise of 30 hrs “Free” childcare is due to start. This latest initiative alongside the release of a new, poorly thought out funding formula has meant that the Early Years Sector across the country is up arms.

They are concerned that the Government’s demands will drive down the quality of childcare. This will discourage highly qualified staff from entering the profession and make their businesses unsustainable. Everyone stands to lose if this scheme is rolled out in September and those set to suffer the most will be children.

In the West local nurseries and early years settings are working hard to collaborate to raise awareness of these crucial issues, through a group called Best For The West.

www.bestforthewest.com

One member of Best for The West, nursery owner Charlotte Lucas from Free Rangers Forest School Nursery said:

“The free childcare hours are far from free. There is a significant shortfall in our hourly going rate and what the government pays us, as a business we can’t swallow it for the next four years. Then we must factor in business rates increases, pension pay ins and the increase of minimum wages.

Settings will have to cut costs and inevitably it would mean decreasing the quality of childcare and education or driving up costs for those not entitled to funding. Either way we need families to get involved and demand a sensible level of funding from the government or for the government to reverse their promise of free childcare and describe it as subsidised.”

Another member, Clare Crowther from Atelier Nursery in the centre of Bath commented,

“Families are coming to us asking to reserve a 30 hrs place for their child or children. Bath & North East Somerset are still unable to tell us our definite funding figure or the terms and conditions under which we must deliver the initiative. There is no way we can plan, forecast or even inform families of the way we’ll progress until we have this vital information.”

Rosemary Collard who owns a chain of nurseries “Snapdragons”  and also supports and drives Best for the West commented

“We are being asked to deliver high quality care and education that is insufficiently funded and poorly thought out. Public money was invested in paying for graduates to train as EYTs because the government believed that graduate led settings would lead to the best possible outcomes for children, but at £4.00 an hour there is less and less money to pay a highly qualified workforce.  We are happy to support our graduates but we need the ability to charge a rate that enables this. We can make the 30 hours a real possibility but not with the rates on offer.”

To conclude it appears that Early Years Settings across the Southwest desperately want to get on with what they do best, which is providing high quality Early Years Education. But they need the support of families when it comes to understanding the unrealistic demands being made on their businesses and how that might affect the level of education their children access or the additional charges they most likely will incur”

Are you getting a good night’s sleep?

Are you getting a good night’s sleep?

From the GP’s surgery, by Alexandra Phelan Are you getting a good night’s sleep? This week we march into March, which is National Bed Month. That doesn’t mean that you have a free pass to stay in bed for the whole month! But it does give us a good opportunity to talk about the importance… Read More…

New bus lay-by to be built on Ashton Way, Keynsham

New bus lay-by to be built on Ashton Way, Keynsham

Work on constructing a new bus lay-by on Ashton Way in Keynsham is due to begin next week (Monday 27th February). The new bus stop is being built to help facilitate the Keynsham High Street one-way trial. Construction is expected to take 8 weeks.During the work, there may be periods when either stop/go or 2-way… Read More…

Get out, get wild and uncover the nature on your doorstep this Easter

Get out, get wild and uncover the nature on your doorstep this Easter

Research by the RSPB shows that only one in five children in the UK are connected with nature and are spending a healthy amount of time outside Backed by Miranda Krestovnikoff, the RSPB and ALDI have today launched the Wild Challenge aimed at encouraging families to spend more time outside exploring the natural wonders on… Read More…

The Big Pancake Party

The Big Pancake Party

  The Big Pancake Party 2017 All across this country there are families who struggle to put food on the table; children are going to school hungry and parents are skipping meals so that their kids can eat an evening meal. There has been an alarming increase in food poverty in the UK. In the… Read More…

South West scarlet fever activity down 18% this season

South West scarlet fever activity down 18% this season

Public Health England (PHE) South West is reporting a reduction in the number of scarlet fever cases so far this winter. Notifications from doctors have fallen by 18% across the region compared to the same period last year, but across England there have been a similar number of cases. Public Health England South West Deputy… Read More…

BATH QUAYS CONSULTATION- Statement from the Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Regeneration and Project Team

BATH QUAYS CONSULTATION- Statement from the Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Regeneration and Project Team

BATH QUAYS CONSULTATION- Statement from the Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Regeneration and Project Team The public consultation on the amended plans for the redevelopment of Bath Quays South has opened. Bath & North East Somerset Council has comprehensively reviewed its plans for the site following comments received from heritage stakeholders. The alterations address… Read More…

Living within our means – Council approves budget for 2017/18

Living within our means – Council approves budget for 2017/18

Councillors in Bath & North East Somerset Council have approved budget proposals that will ensure the Council continues to live within its means, whilst at the same time protecting the majority of front-line services and continuing to invest in the priorities of residents. In total, the Council needs to find £49 million of savings to… Read More…

The Great Bike Trail 2017, Keynsham

The Great Bike Trail 2017, Keynsham

IN 2017 ,KEYNSHAM IN BLOOM are running a project to set up a Bike Trail around Keynsham and we need your help . -We need community groups to volunteer to paint and plant up a bike or two Or sponsor the cost of this which will be in the region of £40 . -We need… Read More…

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